Celebrity chef Art Smith has been focusing on his health while quarantining at his home in Florida. The 60-year-old showed off his impressive 70-pound weight loss in a new Instagram post shared to his page on Monday.
The side-by-side comparison photo contained images from both before and during Smith’s transformation. The left side consisted of a snap taken in 2015 during one of the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America events. The right showed a more recent photo taken sometime during the last three months of quarantine in Jasper, Florida. The chef wore a bright red tank top that showcased his toned arms and trimmer waistline. His face also appeared more chiseled underneath his fuller white beard.
The Top Chef Masters winner wasn’t exactly planning on utilizing his time in isolation to lose weight, but a change in his home life at the beginning of the three-month span led him to make some major lifestyle changes. In a recent interview with Today, the southern food connoisseur — who spent four years as Oprah’s personal chef — explained that 26-year-old professional rugby player Lucas Cancelier of Argentina stopped by to visit Smith and his family back in February, though the rapid spread of COVID-19 led him to shelter-in-place with the clan at their home in Florida.
Smith revealed to the athlete that he was unhappy with his then-weight of 330 pounds, which led the pair to put together a workout plan for the chef with a goal of losing 30 pounds. His routine became slightly modified after the gyms closed down, though he was still able to stick to his training to not only meet his goal but surpass it. So far, he has lost a total of 70 pounds.
“Who would ever think that a pro rugby player would get stuck with me and that he would change my whole life? He’s more than a coach. He’s a mentor,” Smith said of Cancelier.
The benefits of Smith’s daily workout routine — which includes a morning jog and afternoon workout — have also gone beyond losing weight. He explained to Today that he has noticed a change in his mood as well and has been able to better manage the stress of handling his numerous restaurants during the pandemic. He also believes it will be beneficial for his career going forward.
“When you go into a restaurant and see a chef that looks heavy or sloppy, what do you think? You maybe think that the food is going to be heavy and sloppy,” he said. “I think this affects everything. You have to be good to yourself and take care of yourself to be a good business person.”
Restaurant patrons will also see a change in the menus at Smith’s establishments, which are comprised mainly of southern favorites. The James Beard winner explained that he is working with Cancelier to create healthy alternatives to some of his entrees, including a chicken dish that will be oven-baked instead of fried. Smith also shares several healthier versions of his favorite comfort foods on his Instagram page.
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Join us today from my #JasperFloridaHome at 4:00 pm Eastern Time #instagramlive learn how to make my #FamousFriedChicken and @Oprah favorite #unfriedchicken #StayAtHome #QuarantineCooking #HealthyCooking @homecominfl @disneysprings @bluedoorkitchenchicago @southernart_bourbonbar @artbirdnyc @artandsouldc @iamdapower